Gasto militar

Ejercicio de helicópteros de la Agencia Europea de Defensa en Hungría en 2022. Foto: Peter Kohalmi / © European Union, 2022

Tema

La puesta en práctica de la Estrategia Industrial de Defensa Europea se enfrenta a retos considerables.

Resumen

El 5 de marzo de 2024, la Unión Europea (UE) hizo pública su primera Estrategia Industrial de la Defensa Europea. Tras la guerra en Ucrania, Europa entiende que invertir en su base industrial y tecnológica es una vía fundamental para mejorar la defensa europea, tener un papel más preponderante en el reparto transatlántico de la carga y reducir las dependencias en materia de fabricación y tecnología. La Estrategia llega en el momento adecuado y es de agradecer que ponga el énfasis en la preparación para la defensa, pero en la actualidad plantea más cuestiones de las que resuelve.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Ukraine rally in Washington DC after the Senate passed a foreign aid bill on April 23, 2024. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The new $61 billion US aid package for Ukraine, approved by Congress on 23 April, will improve Ukraine’s battlefield position – allowing stocks of ammunition from US bases in Poland and Germany to be shipped quickly to existing Ukrainian forces, and newly mobilized troops to be equipped.

Critics of Ukraine’s mobilization law, recently passed by the parliament in Kyiv, argued it made little sense to draft more men if there were no weapons to arm them: now that concern can be discarded.

The US package includes weapons Ukraine has long sought and which can make a significant difference in the war, like long-range ATACMS missiles.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Scranton, Pa., 155-millimeter artillery shells are being manufactured. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

President Biden wants the world to believe that the biggest obstacle facing Ukraine is Republicans and our lack of commitment to the global community. This is wrong.

Ukraine’s challenge is not the G.O.P.; it’s math. Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide. This reality must inform any future Ukraine policy, from further congressional aid to the diplomatic course set by the president.

The Biden administration has applied increasing pressure on Republicans to pass a supplemental aid package of more than $60 billion to Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

HMS Diamond is pulled along the River Thames by tugboats on May 2, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

In January 2024 the head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, queried whether the world is at a 1938 moment.

He is not alone in making such linkages to the past or raising questions about the state of Britain’s armed forces today. Grant Shapps, Britain’s Defence Secretary, echoed his sentiments in a speech shortly afterwards. A month later, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, appeared to play down the issue.

Both Sanders and Shapps called for a significant increase in defence spending. Others have called on the British government to bring forward its commitment to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP immediately.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian servicemen hold position on a frontline near the city of Zaporizhzhia, 18 December 2023. Photograph: Yakiv Liashenko/EPA

Here is one fact that sums up the gap between the promises that Kyiv’s European partners have made to Ukraine and the reality. In March 2023, the EU made the historic decision to deliver a million artillery shells to Ukraine within 12 months. But the number that has actually been sent is closer to 300,000. For all the rhetorical commitments to support Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s invasion “for as long as it takes”, Europe has largely failed on this front.

The price of this complacency is already being paid in Ukrainian blood. According to the armed forces of Ukraine, over the summer of 2023, Ukraine was firing up to 7,000 artillery shells a day and managed to degrade Russia’s logistics and artillery to the point where Russia was firing about 5,000 rounds a day.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s confidence must be shaken after leaving Washington without the approval of more US military funding for his country amid the ongoing war with Russia.

Although President Joe Biden has stressed the need for Congress to continue supporting Ukraine, Republican opposition to the administration’s request for more than $60 billion in emergency supplemental funding has been stiff. As the GOP demands the passage of stringent border policies from Democrats in exchange for backing the military aid package, the future remains pretty bleak for Ukraine. Even if the two parties end up striking a deal, it’s likely that each subsequent aid package will only face increasing resistance and more roadblocks.…  Seguir leyendo »

Vivimos en un mundo agitado. La agresión a Ucrania es la máxima expresión de esa agitación, en un panorama mundial donde surge un nuevo equilibrio de poder con nuevos actores con voluntad de desempeñar un papel global. En ese proceso de reconfiguración la supuesta supremacía de occidente está siendo contestada.

La guerra ha mostrado la escasa preparación de occidente para afrontar un conflicto mayor. Las políticas seguidas desde el final de la guerra fría para cobrar los dividendos de la paz han llegado a su límite. La realidad se ha impuesto y ha llevado a un cambio de mentalidad social y política sobre el gasto en defensa.…  Seguir leyendo »

A NATO flag is displayed at a ceremony marking Poland's ratification of Finland and Sweden's membership in the bloc, on board the Polish Navy frigate ORP Kosciuszko in Gdynia on July 22, 2022. Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/AFP via Getty Images

Eyeing the NATO summit in Vilnius next month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated last Tuesday the need for each alliance member to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense, a long-standing NATO goal. Stoltenberg’s comments are laudable, but a NATO report released in March suggests that getting all alliance members to actually meet the 2 percent threshold may be easier said than done. Although the report highlights some progress since the goal was set at NATO’s 2014 summit in Wales, it documents many members’ continued failure to meet their defense-spending commitments.

On the good-news side of the ledger: Based on budget estimates for 2022, the United States’ NATO allies—28 European countries plus Canada—collectively increased their defense spending for the eighth consecutive year.…  Seguir leyendo »

Vista aérea de la base naval de Rota, Cádiz. Foto: Ministerio de Defensa

Tema

El compromiso político para que el presupuesto de Defensa alcance el 2% del PIB en 2029 resulta difícil de realizar debido a la falta de normas y medidas que garanticen su sostenibilidad y mejoren su racionalidad presupuestaria en un entorno económico incierto.

Resumen

La guerra de Ucrania ha venido a demostrar a la UE y a los países europeos pertenecientes a la OTAN, entre otros, que el soft power no es suficiente como forma de disuasión. La consecuencia más inmediata ha sido que la mayoría de los países europeos, entre ellos España, han recuperado el compromiso (incumplido) alcanzado en la Cumbre de la OTAN de Cardiff en 2014 de elevar las inversiones en Defensa hasta el 2% del PIB.…  Seguir leyendo »

Operativos del cuerpo de Infantería de Marina del Ejército español participan en las maniobras en el ejercicio marítimo anual BALTOPS de la OTAN, en Lilaste, Letonia. EFE

Entre los insultos habituales que uno recibe (no sin cierta alegría) hay uno que reza así: "Estando como está la Sanidad o la Educación, dedicar más presupuesto a Defensa es de retrasados".

Esto me ha hecho recordar una pregunta que me han formulado reciente. ¿Por qué Ucrania no estaba preparada cuando se produjo la invasión? ¿Por qué su gasto en Defensa fue del 1% entre 1990 y 2014 y de sólo el 2,2% entre 2014 y 2022?

Ambas cuestiones tienen una misma respuesta: sesgos.

Ucrania, esto es así, pudo haber invertido mucho más en Defensa. De hecho, sólo este año ha tenido que dedicar casi el 50% de su PIB a la guerra.…  Seguir leyendo »

El legado de Abe: la nueva postura japonesa de seguridad

El entusiasmo con el que Japón comenzó a rearmarse sorprendió a sus aliados y socios internacionales. El mes pasado, el primer ministro japonés Fumio Kishida dio a conocer planes detallados para duplicar el gasto en defensa durante los próximos cinco años, lo que no deja dudas sobre la determinación del país para expandir sus capacidades militares y disuadir a China de su ambición expansionista.

La nueva visión estratégica japonesa representa la culminación de un cambio a largo plazo que comenzó con el predecesor de Kishida, Shinzō Abe, asesinado en julio del año pasado. Durante el gobierno de Abe —desde que regresó al poder en diciembre de 2012 hasta que renunció en septiembre de 2020— Japón modernizó su doctrina militar y aumentó significativamente el gasto para la defensa.…  Seguir leyendo »

A live-fire exercise conducted by Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force in a training area in May 2020. (Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images)

There are two ways to think about Japan’s announcement this month that it will surge defense spending by more than 50 percent in the next five years and acquire advanced missiles that can strike the Eurasian mainland. The first is that it’s a victory for the U.S.-led world order, because China’s military advantage in the Western Pacific will narrow. The darker version is that it’s a recognition of the failure of the U.S.-led order, which aimed to suppress military competition in East Asia after World War II.

Both the optimistic and pessimistic perspectives reflect important realities, and history will decide which was more apt.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Japanese submarine at Sagami Bay, south of Tokyo, Japan, November 2022. Issei Kato / Pool / Reuters

On December 16, Japan took a major step toward becoming a “normal” world power by approving dramatic changes to its decades-old policy of military restraint. Under its new national security strategy, Japan will not only double its military spending, adding some $315 billion to its defense budget over the next five years. It will also develop a new “counterstrike” capability enabling it to conduct retaliatory attacks on enemy territory—a remarkable departure from its previous policy.

These moves signal a profound transformation. For years, observers of international relations have noted that Japan certainly has the demographic, economic, and technological potential to be a great power: it plays a prominent role in global governance, development, and many other aspects of international politics.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force take part in a military review at the Ground Self-Defense Force's training ground in Asaka, Saitama, on Oct. 14, 2018. (Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP/Getty Images)

Japan announced on Friday that it plans to double its defense spending by 2027. That’s good. We will need it if the United States and its democratic allies are to contain China’s aggression.

Japan has long punched below its weight in global affairs. Despite its massive economy, still the world’s third largest, its tiny military has hobbled its ability to project power.

This was by design. Due to Japan’s humiliating defeat in World War II, combined with its neighbors’ resentment stemming from its aggressive war of conquest, the island nation adopted a pacifist sentiment that persists to this day. Even during the Cold War, Japan spent only about 1 percent of its gross domestic product on self-defense forces.…  Seguir leyendo »

La guerra de Ucrania ha vuelto a poner en el centro del debate la cuestión de cuál debe ser el peso de la alta tecnología dual con capacidades para nuestra defensa militar y civil en un Estado democrático.

El cambio de percepción de que un ejército sirve, principalmente, para defender los valores fundamentales que vertebran nuestra sociedad va desplazando paulatinamente prejuicios provocados por una historia, la nuestra, cada día menos reciente.

Es fácil caer en la tentación de pensar que la democracia es el destino final natural de la historia. Lo cierto es que es un tesoro que debemos defender y preservar a diario.…  Seguir leyendo »

Europe’s defence sector: will war in Ukraine transform its fortunes?

Hundreds of defence and aerospace executives will this week descend on an airfield in southern England along with ministers, generals, air marshals and hangers-on, to attend the industry’s version of the Glastonbury music festival.

This year, they will meet with a renewed sense of purpose. Until it was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Farnborough International Airshow has been a regular event for more than seven decades. But for the first time in many years, the industry is relishing the prospect of a flood of money coming its way.

The war in Ukraine has prompted European governments to reverse the course of years of shrinking defence spending.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian S-400 missile defense systems at a military parade in Moscow, May 2022. Evgenia Novozhenina / Reuters

In the days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a host of countries announced momentous hikes in military spending. Canada and the United States both released plans for new military expenditures. So did Australia. So far, 29 European states have pledged more than a combined $209 billion in new defense funding—a figure that will almost certainly rise. The European Commission has declared that “investments will be needed to replenish the depleted stocks of military equipment”, and Josep Borrell, the EU’s top foreign policy official, has called for the bloc “to spend together, more, and better” on its armed forces.

These recent increases have been spurred by the war, but they build on an existing trend.…  Seguir leyendo »

A soldier sits behind the machine gun of a tank during an exercise at the Hohenfels trainings area, Germany, on June 8. Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

It’s like clockwork: As NATO’s late June summit in Madrid approaches, the debate over whether allies spend too little on defense grows louder. NATO defense ministers pledged in 2006 to spend at least 2 percent of their nation’s gross domestic product on their defense annually. Today that’s become a totemic object for the alliance—especially for Americans who insist that others are spending too little. There is a certain truth in that, but there are much more pressing concerns for NATO than tracking this figure. Leaders should be asking harder questions about how the money is being spent and how the security burden can be shared, not obsessing about who’s giving their fair share.…  Seguir leyendo »

During the 2020 presidential race, then candidate Joe Biden complained that U.S. President Donald Trump had “abandoned all fiscal discipline when it comes to defense spending”. Unsurprisingly, Biden’s first budget—announced in 2021—was a dramatic about-face in fiscal priorities. The proposal increased spending for virtually every federal department except the Pentagon. Congress, for its part, considered Biden’s proposal so deficient that it added an additional $29 billion for defense.

Despite congressional pushback and mounting global threats, Biden’s new budget, announced last week, continues down the same dangerous path. Confronting emerging international dangers will require a dramatic increase in Washington’s spending, and the administration’s proposal is insufficient.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the week since Russian missiles began raining down on Ukraine, Germany has upturned its decadeslong military-light foreign policy, heralding a dramatic shift in the complexion of modern Europe.

"Putin's war" represented nothing less than a "Zeitenwende" -- a change of times -- for Germany and Europe, German chancellor Olaf Scholz told a special session of the Bundestag Sunday.

In a country where "many of us still remember our parents' or grandparents' tales of war," Scholz said the "terrible images" coming out of cities across Ukraine "affect us all very deeply."

At the same time, tens of thousands of Germans gathered near the Brandenburg Gate at the weekend to condemn the Kremlin's act of aggression, one of many such protests across the globe.…  Seguir leyendo »